Pastor, in this Blogsite we will demonstrate something that may shock you. It shouldn't because the Reformers taught it hundreds of years ago. You may decide to agree that when the early Church apostatized, it became so wicked that it actually became, "The Antichrist" and in so doing has already fulfilled the Bible Prophecies about Antichrist up until his "Deadly Wound." As you know, Pre-Trib says Antichrist cannot begin his work of inflicting his Mark of the Beast upon humanity until after the Church has been Raptured away into Heaven. In this Blogsite we will show absolute proof from the Bible and from world History that the Church itself apostatized and actually emerged into Antichrist himself. Jesus prophesied that in the very earliest days of the Church, Satan would implant "Tares," false believers, into the Church. Jesus said that throughout the time the Church would exist here on earth Tares would be present. Paul and other New Testament Prophets prophesied that the Early Church would apostatize from the truths Jesus taught. John wrote three Epistles specifically identifying evil implants from Satan. John actually called them "antichrists" (see 1Jn.2:18; 4:3; 2Jn.1:7). These evil "antichrists," implants from Satan, were later called, "Gnostics," and they were tireless in their efforts to contaminate the Church and set it up to become the real "Antichrist." Even though most of these early antichrists were dejected from the Church, they left "marks" that to this day are considered Orthodox Christian Doctrine. All of the so-called Orthodox doctrines from those Gnostics are doctrines of demons and some of these religious views will, in these last days actually become the Mark of the Beast. We'll show that the Mark will be some form of "Annulling God's Law." The main thrust of the Mark of the Beast will be Antichrist's attempt to, "Change Times and Laws" (Dan.7:25).
By comparing Bible prophecy with Church history, it becomes completely clear that the Real Antichrist emerged with full strength in 538AD and then for 1260 years, the Dark Ages, this Church/Antichrist dominated Europe and beyond. Paul said Antichrist would emerge at the same time the Church "Apostatized." He wrote, "Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day (the Day Jesus comes to gather His people and take them to Heaven) shall not come, except there come a FALLING AWAY (Apostasy) first and that Man of Sin (Antichrist) be revealed, the son of perdition" (2Thess.2:3). Paul strongly suggests that when the Church "Falls Away," it actually becomes Antichrist. History clearly confirms this to be the case. For more on this, see "70 Weeks of Daniel," Antichrist's Name, The Mark of the Beast, and The Great Whore of Revelation.
Phase 1 - John, Jude, Peter, Paul, and James warned of antichrists that were already active in their day. These early antichrists were later called Gnostics. All New Testament Bible Writers refer to power that would arise against the Church, but only John actually used the word, "antichrists" (see 1Jn.2:18; 4:3; 2Jn.1:7). Under Satan's inspiration, these evil Gnostics laid the foundation for the real Antichrist and for the Mark of the Beast.
"Time Times and a Half a Times"
"And he (Antichrist) shall speak great words against the Most High, and wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of times" (Dan.7:25).
Pastor, Don't Become Angry, Yet!
Pastor, we are aware that Pre-Trib disagrees entirely with using the, "day-for-a-year" interpretation for Antichrist's, "time, times, and half a time" prophecy. But, Pastor, before you cast this view aside, can we remind you that, if you believe the Tribulation will be seven years in length, the whole 7-Year Tribulation view is based entirely on converting "Days-for-Years" in Daniel's 70 Week Prophecy. Pre-Trib says that the entire 70-Week Prophecy about "Messiah the Prince" is the result of converting days to years. Although we disagree with the exact dates of Pre-Trib's version of the 70-Week Prophecy, there can be no doubt about the necessity of converting days into years. The day-for-a-year is correct.
Daniel prophesied about Antichrist and also about the real Christ, and we suggest the day-for-a-year fits perfectly for both. The real Christ is of course, Jesus. Daniel called the real Christ, "Messiah the Prince" (See Dan.9:25). This Prophecy gave the exact date of Jesus baptism, the date He established the New Covenant at His Last Supper, the date of His death, and the events 31/2 years later that sent the Gospel to the Gentiles. Those events occurred when Stephen was stoned and Paul was converted. These two events involving Stephen and Paul caused the Gospel to be expanded to the Gentiles and the entire world. The only way Daniel's 70 Week Prophecy fits all of these events is to convert the days into years. 70 weeks is 490 days, and when these days are converted into years, all of the events fit perfectly. So, let's test the "day-for-a-year" application, and if it fits perfectly...well, let's see if it does.
"Falling Away First"
The Apostle Paul prophesied that the Church would apostatize, and although he doesn't say it outright, he implies that when Antichrist appears he will actually be the head of the Church during that apostasy. When we compare other prophecies from Paul concerning "departing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils...and forbidding to marry" (see 1Tim. 4:1-3), and "teaching traditions of men" (Col.2:8), and how the time was coming when "they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (2Tim.4:4). Notice in the following how Paul ties Antichrist and the apostasy together:
"Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day (the day Jesus will return to take His people to Heaven) shall not come, except there come a falling away (apostasy) first and that man of sin [Antichrist] [Paul called him Anomos] be revealed, the son of perdition" (2Thess.2:3). Paul implies that the "falling away," and the "Man of sin revealed" is the same event, and we suggest it is. The Bible proves that it is. Paul’s word for "Man of Sin" in the original Greek was "Anomos," which means "Annulling God's 10 Commandments." Paul's word for, "falling away" is "apostasia", the Greek word for "apostasy." Did the Church apostatize after the Apostles died? On a grand scale, and once the apostate Church gained power over the old Roman Empire, it became the "Holy Roman Empire," and for 1260 years it persecuted and killed any and all who opposed it. Bible prophecy predicted how the apostate Church would come into power, its evil deeds while in power, its deadly wound, and its deadly deeds after its deadly wound healed. All of the Church’s evil deeds before the deadly wound match perfectly with Bible Prophecy, thus we can know exactly what Satan's final World Church headed by Antichrist will do. Scripture says Satan and Antichrist will make war on God's "Commandments keepers" (Rev.12:17; 14:12), we can be certain it will happen exactly as prophecy says! Following are thirteen prophecies about Antichrist:
2 - "Think to Change times and laws"
6 - "Make War on the Saints"
8 - "Power from the Dragon"
9 - "Wear Out the Saints"
10 - "Power Over Kindreds, Tongues, and Nations"
11 - "Forbid to Marry"
12 - "Exercise power for 1260 years"
Paul prophesied, "Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day, (when Jesus comes to gather His Church to take them to Heaven) shall not come, except there come a (the) falling away (apostasy) first, and that man of sin (Antichrist) be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth, and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he, as God, sitteth in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2Thess.2:3-4). Pastor, all of the portions of this prophecy will be covered in the remainder of this Blogsite, so in this section we will look specifically at thee, "sitting in the Temple of God," portion. This could be fulfilled in one of two ways, both of which would match with and point to the Church after it apostatized. As time passed in the Early Church, the Bishops of Rome became more and more powerful, and as their power grew over the years, their apostasy grew also. So, one way the prophecy could be fulfilled could be that the Pope occupying the Vatican. The other fulfillment, which this Author prefers, could be as follows. We ask you, Pastor, what is the Temple of God at the present time? During the time of this Church Age, or, as Pre-Trib says, the "Church Dispensation," it is the Church that is the Temple of God. Not any building, but the entire Church, or body of believers. Jesus told the Scribes and Pharisees that because they rejected Him, "your House is left unto you desolate" (Matt.23:38). Thus, when Satan gained control of the Church soon after the Apostles were gone; when the Church fully abandoned the truths from Jesus and the Apostles, the apostate Church then sat in the place of God's Church. Let's move on now and see how each portions of Paul's prophecy/warning were fulfilled in the apostate Church.
2 - "Change Times and Laws"
- "The early churches were specifically warned against submitting themselves to the bondage of any legalistic observance of Sabbath days (Col.2:16, cp.Gal.4:9-11). On the other hand, in the exercise of their Christian liberty, these same churches voluntarily chose the first day of the week as an appropriate time for fellowship and worship (Acts 20:7;1Cor.16:2), the day in which the Lord arose and repeatedly appeared to His disciples. It was a new day for a new people belonging to a new creation (2Cor.5:17), a day of commemoration and joy (Mat.28:9 marg.), service (Mat.28:10), and spiritual rest (Heb.4:9-10). The observance of the first day of the week is corroborated by the early fathers in the writings of Barnabas (c.A.D.100), Ignatius (A.D.107), Justin Martyr (A.D.145-150), and Irenaeus (A.D.155-202). The edict of Laodicea (4th century AD) did not change the day of worship from the seventh to the first day of the week, as sometimes alleged, but rather put the stamp of official approval upon an observance already long established in the early churches" (Scofield footnote on Acts 20:7).
The early Churches actually were "specifically warned", BUT, the warning was against the very thing the Scofield editors proudly verify. One of the Early Church's first acts of Apostasy was to diminish the Sabbath and start replacing it with Sunday. The "specific warnings" to the Churches were that the Church should NEVER "voluntarily choose" to replace God's Commandment with a "man-made" commandment (Col.2:4,8,18,22). The footnote is correct that there was an "Edict of Laodicea" in which the main body of the Church accepted Sunday as the official day of worship. This happened soon after the Church began entering into its apostate condition. It was a continuation of the Gnostics contamination. The "Edict of Laodicea" was a meeting put together because Constantine the Great requested it. Constantine was the first "Christian" to pass a Sunday Law.
Many Church historians attempt to say that the "change of times and Laws" at this "Edict of Laodicea" was a done deal and the Sabbath was officially abolished and replaced by Sunday throughout Christianity. Actually, other Church historians record that hundreds of years later many churches throughout Christianity still observed the Sabbath alongside Sunday. Some even rejected Sunday outright, refusing to tamper with God's Law in any way whatsoever.
Let's look now at 4 more acts John prophesied Antichrist would do:
By attempting to "change Times and Laws" (the Sabbath), the Church ignored Jesus' command about the "jot and tittle" of the "least Commandment" (Matt.5:17-19). The apostate Church also ignored God's Commandment forbidding "bowing down to" and "worshiping images." Are these evil acts blasphemy against God (See Ex.20:4-5)?
Did the Church have power over "kindreds, tongues, and nations" and "make war on and overcome the saints?" For 1260 years the Church dominated Europe and many outlying countries, often deciding who’d be Kings and Emperors. In many countries, when a new king was inaugurated, a Church official physically placed the crown on his head.
As to "making war on the saints," even Church historians say the Church killed millions of people during the 1260 years that it had the power. The Church doesn't deny this and recently apologized for its atrocities. Many devout Christians were murdered for refusing to disobey God’s Law. Some died because they refused the Church's "changed times and laws" choosing rather to obey the Sabbath of the Commandments. Foxes Book of Martyrs documents such horrid acts done by the Church.
The History Channel often features the fall of the Roman Empire. It tells of Emperor Justinian's attempt to revive the Western portion of the old Roman Empire. He dreamed of restoring it to its former glory. Justinian was the last Roman Emperor with any effectiveness as an Emperor. Constantine the Great had moved the capital from Rome to Byzantium 200 years earlier in 330 AD. Constantine renamed the city Constantinople (now Istanbul Turkey). During the 200 years between Emperors Constantine and Justinian, the Church at Rome became Church headquarters. The Bishop of Rome was Head Bishop and was called "Pope."
Justinian wanted the Pope to be an extension of his power in the West. This could only happen by eliminating three nations that were enemies of both the Pope and Justinian. One of these nations, the Vandals, had ransacked the western portion of the Roman Empire. It's because of the Vandals that we now use the word "vandalize" to describe property destruction. The Heruli took Rome in 476 AD. In 493 AD the Ostrogoths drove out the Heruli and took charge of Rome. 42 years earlier, in 451 AD, the Ostrogoths had joined Attila the Hun in his failed attempt to take over the western half of the Roman Empire. The demise of Attila the Hun was the beginning of the Church’s rise to political power. In 534 AD General Belisarios completely vanquished the Vandals. By 538 AD all three nations that had opposed Justinian and the Pope were completely deposed and vanquished. (For documentation see Thomas Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, vol.3, pp180-213; vol. 4, pp.73-113, 210-252; Charles Diehl, "Justinian" in Cambridge Medieval History, vol. 2, p.15).
The Church pretty much ruled over all the Nations of Europe and North Africa for 1260 years.
Of Course the Church forbids all of its Priests and Nuns to Marry. Pastor, this is a red flag too obvious to over look. "Neither shall he [Antichrist] regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor any god; for he shall magnify himself above all" (Dan.11:37). Paul prophesied the same in 1Timothy 4:3. These are Bible prophecies about Antichrist forbidding to marry, but is there History corresponding? There is absolutely! We've already mentioned 538 AD, and the following further establishes that this date is important in showing that this is when the Church received the power to become the Antichrist. It was around 538, or soon thereafter, Emperor Justinian made a decree that any children born as the result of members of the clergy cohabiting, such children would be considered the same as children of incest. Pastor, if you doubt this, do an Internet search of, "Celibacy of the Clergy," and click on "Wikipedia." Also in 538AD, the Church met for the, "Council of Orleans," during which they passed a decree concerning men who became Priests. Following is from the Church's Encyclopedia: "It prohibited even those already married from continuing to live with their wives" (Catholic Encyclopedia section titled, "Celibacy of the Clergy" paragraph 18). Notice, Pastor, this doesn't come from, Church Bashers, but directly from the Church's own Encyclopedia. Anyone claiming that 538 AD was not a significant turning point in the Church simply has not studied History.
12 - Power for 1260 Years
Some have disputed this, claiming the Church existed in its apostate condition long before 538 AD. We do not disagree, in fact we agree heartily. Satan wasted no time in implanting his Tares, false believers, into the Church. He was aggressively active during the days of the Apostles. Paul was continually writing to Churches correcting gross false doctrines that had been introduced by Satan's implanted false believers. Thus Satan's attempt to take over the Church did begin during the days of the Apostles, but soon after they passed, the transition accelerated. There are indications that around 120 AD the Church at Rome and the Church at Alexander Egypt had begun to yield to the Gnostics. For more on this, see our Blogsite, "The Gnostics." The Church's reign of terror began to diminish when Martin Luther and the other Reformers began exposing the Church's evil deeds. In 1798 something ended the Church's dominance. We explain in the following, "Deadly Wound" section.
In 1798, Napoleon sent his General Berthiar to arrest the Pope. This Deadly Wound stopped the Church from Persecuting any people. Someday there will arise a New World Church that will be run by Antichrist and it will, "Exercise all the Power of the first Beast" (Rev.13:12)! The Deadly Wound will be completely healed and Satan will be given his last opportunity to demonstrate that his way is best! Of course it will be the "Worst Time of Trouble in the History of our Planet!"
All Prophecies Match the Church
Every Bible Prophecy concerning Antichrist fits the Church with uncanny accuracy! There a few prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled after his "Deadly Wound," but these are just ahead. Pastor, do you believe there is any possibility that all of these prophecies could fit perfectly with the Church of the Dark Ages, and this be just a coincident? The odds of this is beyond calculation!
There are a lot of Theories floating around Christianity at this time concerning Antichrist. During the Reformation, Martin Luther and other Reformers identified the Church as Antichrist, but this has been almost entirely dropped by Evangelical Ministers. Could it be that the Powers of Darkness have orchestrated this? If it is true that the Church of the Dark Ages is Antichrist, and a revival of that Church will be the Last-Day Antichrist, would Satan put this on the very top of his agenda? He can never deceive "all the world into wondering after the Beast, and worshiping the Beast" (Rev. 13:3-4), if the whole world knows who the Beast is. Only those that have a connection to the Holy Spirit will withstand Satan's onslaught of Delusions! Let's pray for God's Spirit to protect us from Satan's delusions!
Thank You So Much, Dear Pastor, for your time and interest. Let's Pray for God's continuing Holy Spirit to "Guide us into all Truth... and Show us things to come" (Jn.16:13)!
Your Brother in Christ
Walter C. Martin Jr.
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